My name is Tinevimbo Matambanadzo. I’m 25 years old. The bulk of my story began when I was 17. From having an uneventful normal period to having a terrible and excruciating period that just wouldn’t stop. I saw countless doctors who couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me; why my period was so erratic and why I had constant pelvic pain. The years went by and I just lived with it. Family and friends became few as they thought I was seeking attention, after all “period pain was normal “.
Mine wasn’t period pain though, It was a constant pelvic pain. After high school I then had to change my plans of going overseas and had to choose distance learning because I just wouldn’t cope. I was so embarrassed. It was around this time that I learned about endometriosis and was diagnosed with this condition. Endometriosis is when the endometrium or tissue attach themselves or grow outside of the uterus causing symptoms like the ones I experienced. A voice spoke to me about being the pillar and voice for people who had limitations. I felt I couldn’t do it because I too needed help. I began to write down and speak about the organization I wanted to start .
Now 3 years later I run a non profit organization called As I Am Foundation that caters to underprivileged people by creating ideas for livelihoods and encouraging them that nothing can stop them. Most times I work from my bed because of the pain I feel and other times when I am strong I go out and do outreaches. My illness did not take over my life but was the catalyst to what I am doing in my life right now. In every situation think of the lesson that can be learned and adjust to the consequence, always make sure you are in control. Never give up. Besides running my NGO I am a psychology student with UNISA and I am also a strong advocate for endometriosis, and this is my story.